At a brief glance at the map, you will notice how strategically my country is located with reference to Southeastern Asia and the Indonesian Islands.
Our Archipelago guards the approach to these regions by sea from the North and from the East. This is both a handicap and an asset to us Filipinos.
A Handicap to us in case war involves nearby countries, as powerful nation with plans to launch war against them may attempt to conquer our country first so they can use us.
We had learned this disadvantage during the second world war. At the same time, the Philippines strategic control over the northern approaches to the China Sea, and indirectly over the eastern approaches to the Straits of Mallaca, has advantages too. It adds to our Political importance among the nations of the world and above all, it makes Philippines commercially, an ideal center for the distribution of goods throughout Southeastern Asia. The Philippine archipelago comprises 7,107 islands. The total area of the Philippines is 115,600 square miles. I will share to you the poem I composed for my homeland.
A TRIBUTE TO MY DEAR LAND PHILIPPINES
By Juliet B. Corpuz 122096
We were living peacefully in this land called ‘Pearl of the Orient’
Our land was so rich and green
We have our gold, our seas and mountains
We have nothing to ask for
Everything is provided by mother nature
Then a galleon came with these foreign men
By their power, they took everything
Our land, our gold, our freedom
Our forefathers were divided
By their sword and cross, the Pearl was conquered
For 300 years they had stayed
Our ancestors became slaves
Our great grandmothers were raped
Millions of our fellowmen were killed
And all over the land, their blood had been scattered!
Then a cry of freedom rang In the ears of Balintawak!
Our Great father had stand and urge us to fight
With his bolo and great bravery,
He shouted:”We have to fight for our freedom!
We have to freed our land!”
We were almost there but then we were divided again
Some of our forefathers stood
On the side of these foreign men
By their selfishness we were weaken
Until we were conquered again.
The kind of sufferings that we experienced from these Whites
Will never be forgotten as long as we live
Millions of casualties, cities were destroyed
Their flag were victoriously hanged
Above the Pearl that mourned
While the Pearl was mourning
Another battle hits again
This time the Tiger Japs
Snatched the Pearl from Whites
By their bayonets, the land was bathed by blood.
The exploitation and slavery of our motherland
Seems like heavy rains storming its inhabitants
Freedom was just a dream
To a poor Filipino man
Then the movement had risen
To fight for our freedom
They were tag as “Huks” heroes of Japanese times
The struggle continues
We have to topple these men
As the Japs were cornered, the Whites suddenly entered
Because they claimed that it was their promise
To return as Mc Arthur said
The wise whites had shared with us
The victory that must be ours.
That was the great history of our Mother Pearl
With her beautiful feature
She is always jailed
In as much that she longs for freedom
But she was always conquered
My dear fellowmen Do we really gain the freedom?
Which been long so much by our motherland?
Do we really escape from the clouts of these Whites?
Who conquered us during those early times?
The Echo of Balintawak
Can still be heard in the wind
The way they shouted for freedom
Was like a thunder in the mountains
The cry of our forefathers were like a storm and hurricane!
How long shall we sleep?
How long shall FREEDOM be a dream?
Did you feel my anger in this piece?
This poem was posted in our company newsletter and a local magazine.
I was very active as a labor union leader when I composed this piece. I was one of those who march on the street with clench fists asking to make a difference…